Consider Topical Treatment For Itch
Topical treatment is often the first-line treatment for reducing symptoms like itching. Your dermatologist may prescribe you a topical corticosteroid or a nonsteroidal topical with ingredients like vitamin A and synthetic vitamin D. Your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter options. Setting aside time for an effective and regular skin care regimen is one of the most important ways to control itch. Choosing the right products is an important step to good skin health.
Geranium Oil For Psoriasis
Geranium oil can improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and even work to relieve stress. It also promotes the growth and regeneration of healthy cells.
Dilute this oil well. You may experience minor side effects when applying this diluted oil to the skin. You should always do a patch test before application of any essential oil. Geranium oil commonly causes allergic or other skin reactions.
For skin issues ranging from acne to dermatitis, you can try mixing up to five drops of geranium oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil. Apply this mixture to affected areas twice daily until you see improvement.
How To Relieve Psoriasis Itching
One of the readers of our blog has recently asked me to give some tips about how to relieve psoriasis itching because it is giving him sleepless nights. Psoriasis is characterized by a high degree of skin dryness, coupled with skin inflammation and itching. If we observe closely, it seems that itching is not the primary symptom. It is actually a byproduct of other two symptoms- Skin dryness and inflammation.
When your skin is extremely dry and inflamed- you are prone to rub it and then a chain reaction starts- the more you itch, the more intense it becomes. Eventually, you end up making your psoriasis worse. It is known as Itch-Scratch cycle.
Also, this continuous itching can hamper your personal and professional life badly. For example- improper sleep, lack of concentration, social isolation, lack of self esteem and many others. All these negative after-effects would lead to more stress and anxiety in your life and would take you few more steps away from psoriasis healing because stress is one of the most obvious culprits for psoriasis.
Important note: Sometimes, during the early stages of recovery, the itching increases. Dont worry about that. It simply indicates that you are healing yourself from inside. So, keep walking on the path of holistic healing because a healthy skin and body awaits you
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Do Scalp Psoriasis Home Remedies Work
How you take care of your hair and scalp can have a big impact on your scalp psoriasis flare-ups. In addition to the treatment plan your doctor recommends, you may want to try some of the following tips at home12:
Skip styling tools when possible: Since heat can further dry out your scalp and exacerbate symptoms, its best to avoid blow-drying, curling, and straightening tools if you can. When brushing your hair, use gentle pressure to avoid further irritation. If you have natural hair and are used to consistent styling that requires heat, talk to your dermatologist or stylist to figure out a plan that reduces the risk of potential flare-ups while maintaining the health of your hair.
Avoid the tight up-do: If you have longer hair and have hair loss, you may also want to avoid pulling it back tightly in a ponytail, since that can pull on the already-fragile scalp and possibly lead to more hair loss. If you must pull your hair back, keep the hair low and loose to prevent excess tugging.
Choose hair products wisely: Using certain hair products, such as hair dyes, can also be irritating to your scalp. Ask your dermatologist for brand recommendations or if there are ways your stylist can dye your hair that might be more gentle on your scalp.
Castor Oil For Psoriasis
Castor oil isnt an essential oil, but it can be used as a vehicle for applying essential oil. You can add essential oils to a castor oil base before application. This can help dilute the essential oil and prevent any adverse effects.
This natural emollient also works to soften skin. Anecdotal accounts suggest that cold pressed castor oil may help speed up healing and moisturize areas of dry, flaky skin when used daily.
Its also thought that applying castor oil directly to your skin may help remove toxins. It may improve immune function by increasing your count of disease-fighting lymphocyte cells.
Castor oil sold in stores may be chemically processed or sourced from seeds that have been sprayed with pesticides. You should read labels carefully, and proceed slowly to avoid side effects like skin irritation. You shouldnt use this oil if youre pregnant or breastfeeding.
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The Nitty Gritty Of Scalp Psoriasis
Its easy to think that patches of dry, itchy skin on the scalp are caused by some kind of lack of hygiene. But cleanliness has nothing to do with scalp psoriasis.
Psoriasis is actually a chronic inflammatory disorder caused when the immune system doesnt work quite right. Doctors arent sure why, but some people have an immune system that churns out too many skin cells. Since the body cant get rid of these excess cells fast enough, they pile on top of each other, forming flakey, silvery scales.
Psoriasis can pop up anywhere on the body, but when it shows up on your head, dry skin patches can appear under the hair, on the back of the neck, and behind the ears.
Its easy to confuse psoriasis with dandruff, and sometimes dermatologists arent so sure themselves. When it looks like a blend between psoriasis and dandruff, they call it sebopsoriasis a cute couples name for seborrheic dermatitis, aka dandruff, and psoriasis.
However, some clues that your scalp irritation might be psoriasis include more defined or patterned pink scale-like plaques.
Dandruff looks more like generalized greasy flaking with pink patches. Over-the-counter shampoos can typically knock out dandruff, but scalp psoriasis is a little harder to treat.
Facts About Scalp Psoriasis
You cant catch Psoriasis but you have probably been handed it down by your parents or grandparents. A telling sign is the nails which may become pitted or loosen. Almost all patients scalps will feel tight and incredibly itchy. Furthermore, the scalp may feel painful. Adding moisture to the scalp can offer some relief if combined with the correct treatment . The important part of treating scalp Psoriasis is to remove the unwanted scalp crusting. But you must not try this at home. Furthermore, removing the crust is a specialist role. The scalp crusting needs to be correctly moistened and set to allow it to be removed. Secondary infection may result. In addition you may make the condition worse.
The skin in a scalp psoriasis case will proliferate up to 10 times faster than that of the normal skin growth rate. Typically the skin cycle lasts approx. 27 40 days. In cases of Psoriasis, proliferation can occur within 2-4 days. The only way to treat Scalp Psoriasis is to slow down the cell mitosis. Shampooing alone will not help. In fact the so called medicated shampoos can make the condition worse. Other conditions that show similarities: Scalp Eczema, Afro Scalp Conditions, Pityriasis.
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Itchy Scalp Causes & Symptoms
1. Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis are the most common when it comes to itchy scalp causes. Itching and flaking are how the body responds to the the inflammation of the overgrowth of yeast. Yeast is typically found on the scalp and other areas of the body where more hair is located. While the presence of yeast is common, its the over-presence of yeast that creates the problem. In particular, a yeast called malassezia can cause excess skin cell growth and irritate the scalp.
To get more specific, dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis are of a continuous spectrum of the same disease that affects the seborrheic areas of the body, and often those who have eczema will have dandruff. Dandruff occurs on the scalp and usually involves itchy, flaking skin, but you many not see actual inflammation.
On the other hand, seborrheic dermatitis can affect the scalp as well as other areas of the body, but in addition to itchy, flaking or scaly skin, which can be severe, it involves inflammation. Characteristics like the immune system, genetics, emotional stress and nutrition can all affect the actual occurrence and severity of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
Even rosacea can contribute to an itchy scalp, as it can extend beyond the face and cause flaking, itching and redness on the scalp as well.
2. Allergic Reactions from Food and Shampoos
3. Autoimmune Disease
4. Tinea Capitis or Lichen Planopilaris
5. Head Lice
Coconut Or Avocado Oil
Coconuts and avocadoes are filled with healthy fats that boost skin health. Massage a few drops of either type of oil, cool or lightly heated, onto your scalp and put on a shower cap. Wait 20 minutes, remove the cap, then wash your hair as usual. This can reduce and remove some of the scaling associated with the condition.
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How Is The Psoriasis Itching And Burning Treated
The aim of treating itch caused by psoriasis is to break the cycle of itching and scratching. In people with psoriasis that causes frequent itching, scratching is a particular problem because it can damage the skin and cause new plaques to form in healthy areas of skin 1.
For people with milder psoriasis, itching can often be relieved by treating the underlying condition with the usual range of treatments . Other treatments that can help with itching and burning, include2:
- Over-the-counter antihistamines
- Moisturizers that contain colloidal oatmeal
Some prescription medicines can be used specifically to treat itch. A medicine made with capsaicin is an ointment that can help with psoriatic itch when applied three or four times a day. Certain types of antidepressants can also have an itch-relieving effect, as can a medicine called gabapentin3.
Patients with moderate or severe psoriasis may need to treat the condition with medicines called biologic therapies, such as etanercept, adalimumab, infliximab, ustekinumab, secukinumab, and ixekizumab.
These are very powerful drugs that affect the immune system, unlike topical treatments that are applied directly to the skin. Biologic drugs can have the effect of disrupting the signal sent from the itch receptor to the brain4.
Researchers are currently developing new types of drugs specially designed to treat itching at its source in the brain.
Psoralen Plus Ultraviolet A
For this treatment, you’ll first be given a tablet containing compounds called psoralens, or psoralen may be applied directly to the skin. This makes your skin more sensitive to light.
Your skin is then exposed to a wavelength of light called ultraviolet A . This light penetrates your skin more deeply than ultraviolet B light.
This treatment may be used if you have severe psoriasis that has not responded to other treatment.
Side effects include nausea, headaches, burning and itchiness. You may need to wear special glasses for 24 hours after taking the tablet to prevent the development of cataracts.
Long-term use of this treatment is not encouraged, as it can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
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Psoriasis And Itching: Managing The Itch
- Itching affects most people with psoriasis and negatively impacts quality of life.
- Stick to your treatment plan to help manage itching with psoriasis.
- Avoid scratching. Use a moisturizer or cool compress instead.
- A healthy diet and lifestyle can help reduce disease activity that causes itching.
Itch is one of the most distressing symptoms of plaque psoriasis, the most common form of psoriasis. Some 60 percent to 90 percent of people with psoriasis report that itching also known as pruritus worsens quality of life. Itching can negatively impact daily functioning and psychological well-being.
MyPsoriasisTeam members often discuss their frustrations with itching. Bad start to my morning. Im very itchy today. I have to be at work and can’t take any antihistamines. Fighting the itch! one member posted. So tired of my scalp being itchy, another member wrote. People look at me as if I had head lice. What can I use to stop this itch?
My face is killing me today, all red, tight, and itchy. Im now into day four of barely sleeping. I feel so itchy and its 10 times worse at night, a third member said. No amount of moisturizer is helping. It just seems to aggravate the itch.
In the past, itching in psoriasis was not always taken seriously by doctors. Researchers and health care professionals now recognize that itching is a crucial symptom to manage when treating psoriasis, due to the impact of itch on quality of life.
What Are The Most Common Scalp Psoriasis Symptoms
Youre probably wondering, What does scalp psoriasis looks like? Generally, you might notice flaking or scaly patches of raised skin on your scalp first, Dr. Bhutani says. These patches can also be inflamed, thick, and swollen6, and sometimes extend to the forehead, the back of the neck, or behind the ears. On light skin tones, psoriasis plaques on the scalp typically appear pink or red with silvery scales. For people with dark skin, these lesions may range in color and appear salmon-y pink, silvery white, violet, or brown, depending on your specific skin tone7.
But the signs of scalp psoriasis go far beyond the physical effects. Scalp psoriasis, honestly, causes some of the largest impact on quality of life, Dr. Bhutani says. Thats because severe symptoms can interrupt sleep, create feelings of anxiety, and hurt a persons self-esteem, especially if the scalp psoriasis plaques are clearly visible.
In addition to plaques, other scalp psoriasis symptoms include6:
- An extremely itchy scalp that can be distracting
- A burning sensation or soreness on your scalp
- Cracked and/or bleeding skin from scratching too much or from having a dry scalp
- Temporary hair loss if you excessively touch your scalp or attempt to pick off your scales, which can forcibly remove hair follicles
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Peppermint Oil For Psoriasis
Peppermint oil may help most with any itching and pain you get in and around psoriasis patches. There are some 25 different species of peppermint with over 600 varieties. No matter what plant you use, the menthol in the oil is what gives peppermint its punch. This oil also tackles itching caused by anything from herpes blisters to scabies infestations.
In small doses, peppermint doesnt usually cause any side effects. Theres a slight chance of allergic reaction, so be on the lookout for any unusual signs and symptoms after application.
A popular home remedy involves combining one cup of distilled water with five to seven drops of peppermint essential oils in a spray bottle. You can spritz this mixture onto painful, itchy skin for soothing relief.
Managing Scalp Psoriasis Guidance
The ISFs Health Promotion Team has found that scalp psoriasis is one of the most common raised concerns and developed the Managing Scalp Psoriasis leaflet, with guidance on how to manage and treat, what can be a very frustrating part, of living with the condition.
The ISF scalp psoriasis leaflet includes a step-by-step treatment section which includes some really useful techniques you can use at home to treat your scalp psoriasis with over-the-counter and prescribed treatments.
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Use An Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Apple cider vinegar is a do-it-all ingredient, and when used as an apple cider vinegar rinse, it can help lower the pH of the hair, giving you the silky, shiny locks you’ve always wanted. Villaneuva says it’s a great natural at-home remedy to alleviate itching and irritation. “Apply an apple cider vinegar rinse to the scalp and wait for it to dry,” she suggests. Once the vinegar has dried, rinse the solution off of the scalp. However, only use this on mild flare-ups: “You’ll want to avoid using apple cider vinegar if your skin is cracked, bleeding, or there are open wounds.” This is safe to repeat a few times a week to reduce irritation.
Intimacy Can Still Be Possible
If you are feeling anxious about sexual activity because of psoriasis, talk to your partner and educate them about psoriasis. Let them know that psoriasis isnt contagious and help to put them at ease. It is always a good idea to discuss psoriasis before you are intimate, so it is not a surprise.
To reduce friction and pain during sexual activity, use lubricants during sex. Choose products labeled cooling over warming lubricants. Warming lubricants often contain ingredients that inflame sensitive skin and might trigger psoriasis flares.
You can also make your own lubricant using olive oil, aloe vera, or coconut oil. However, oil-based lubricants should not be used with latex condoms, as they can degrade the latex and lead to condom failure.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following ways to reduce irritation with sexual intercourse.
- Postpone sex when the skin around the genitals is raw or inflamed.
- Before sex, gently cleanse intimate areas using mild, fragrance-free cleansers.
- During sex, use lubricated condoms to reduce irritation in intimate areas affected by psoriasis.
- After sex, gently wash and dry intimate areas to reduce irritation.
- Reapply topical medications after sexual intercourse.
Following your treatment plan and taking your medications as prescribed can help to improve psoriasis symptoms regardless of where they are located on the body.
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